MAYFLOWER 400: Voyages of the Heart by Tunde Jegede

Laverne Williams – the Mother: image by Rachel Adams

This powerful new work by renowned composer, producer, cellist and kora virtuoso Tunde Jegede was commissioned by Turner Sims Southampton and Southampton City Council as part of the Mayflower 400 programme.

The new ensemble music project was inspired by the stories of Southampton’s migrant and refugee communities, collected through the City Archive and a new National Lottery Heritage Fund-supported oral history project.

Ivan Dellimore – the Father: image by Rachel Adams

Tunde Jegede describes the piece as, ‘about heritage, journeys, migration and the transitory sense of home and identities… [asking] pivotal questions of our perception of culture, memory, race and how we see the world.

Supported by funding from Arts Council England, Southampton City Council and the University of Southampton, the piece involves 25 musicians from a range of backgrounds and disciplines including Gospel singers, an operatic choir, a Gaelic singer, and an Indian classical music vocalist. Instruments include a string quartet, Irish folk violin and flute, guitar, Sitar, Oud, Tabla, drums and bass. The piece beautifully blends these varied styles together to create a multi-layered musical journey which is reflective of Southampton’s multicultural population.

Shannon B – the Daughter: image by Rachel Adams

This performance was recorded at Turner Sims, and was premiered as an online performance.
Tunde Jegede has been developing resources especially for community use throughout this project to inspire local musicians to explore multiple musical genres. After the premiere event, an online programme ran for two local community choirs and local choirs and schools had free access to over 20 songs from the piece.

Image by Rachel Adams